Global “Weirding:” Cold Weather on a Warming Planet
Many responded to the cold snaps this winter with skepticism towards climate change. How can the Earth be warming if we’re having record low temperatures? But a globe that’s heating up overall doesn’t necessarily mean warmer temperatures everywhere all the time, it may mean more extreme weather and changing weather patterns.
Colder Winters for North America
According to National Geographic, a warmer Arctic will affect larger climate patterns and ironically may likely result in colder winters in North America.
- “As more Arctic air flows into southern regions, North America can expect to see harsher winters. That was the conclusion of a study published in 2017 in the journal Nature Geoscience.”
- “A separate study published in March of last year in the journal Nature Communications found the same link but predicted the northeastern portion of the U.S. would be particularly hard hit.”
Why Should We Care if the Weather Changes?
Our new weather patterns are not only going to be unusual, they’re also likely to be dangerous.
- National Geographic went on to warn: “As the air in the Arctic warms, those jet streams slow and prevent normal weather patterns from circulating—floods last longer and droughts become more persistent. One study published in Science Advances last October predicted extreme, deadly weather events could increase by as much as 50 percent by 2100.”
- The EPA warns that extreme fluctuations in weather and more extreme weather events could have consequences ranging from crop damage, increased spread of diseases, property damage, changing precipitation patterns resulting in drought and flooding, and population displacement.
Some of the impacts of global warming may be difficult to predict, but unusual and extreme weather is one consequence we’re already starting to see. The good news is that it’s not too late to act. Many states are pushing for aggressive carbon offset targets, and coming up with innovative programs to solve climate change. Here in Massachusetts, we have accessible programs like community solar that empower more people than ever to be part of the solution.
You can help Fight Climate Change by joining a Community Solar Farm.
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